October 19, 2008
Most teams are about 4-5 games into their season now and already, people are jumping to conclusions, jumping off the bandwagon, and already signaling the panic button. It's way to early to call it season for certain teams. Just look at the Ottawa Senators last year when they got off to a hot start. Teams still haven't gone through periods when they are affected by injuries, players' hot and cold streaks, and taken long road trips.
Some early surprises are definitely that the Vancouver Canucks are one of the highest scoring teams so far; the New York Rangers taking 12 out of a possible 14 points through their first 7 games; the Anaheim Ducks and J.S. Giguere getting off to slow stars; and the suspension education of Toronto's Ryan Hollweg.
The opening month of the season really sets teams up for the remaining six months. While teams are still figuring out chemistry and incorporating the right guys in the lineup, points dropped in October can haunt you come April.
WEEK THAT WAS
Steve Yzerman was appointed Executive Director of Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
A movie based on the life of CBC's Don Cherry will likely start production next June.
Gary Bettman says the NHL is still growing.
Tragedy hit the KHL and New York Rangers as prospect Alexei Cherepanov passed away during a game.
The Chicago Blackhawks fired coach Denis Savard and replaced him with Joel Quenneville. Patrick Kane talked to reporters through tears about the dismissal.
Dallas Stars rookie Fabian Brunnstrom became only the third player in NHL history to record a hat-trick in his debut.
EXCELLENT ELEVEN POWER RANKINGS
15. Nashville Predators
14. St. Louis Blues
13. Carolina Hurricanes
12. Vancouver Canucks
11. Boston Bruins
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
9. Washington Capitals
8. New Jersey Devils
7. Minnesota Wild
6. Edmonton Oilers
5. Detroit Red Wings
4. Montreal Canadiens
3. San Jose Sharks
2. Buffalo Sabres
1. NY Rangers
LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE
This week's edition of Coach's Corner
Seen Stamkos? I haven't yet
The excellent Paul Bissonnette/Matt Bradley fight
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo
4 GP, 6G, 2A, 8pts, +2, 3 PPG, 2 SHG
Despite the pressure of a large salary, Vanek is emerging as a superstar and this week showed how valuable he is. Half dozen goals as well as the two shorty's helped lead the Sabres to a 3-1 record this week.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Calgary at Edmonton- 10/18
In another edition of "The Battle of Alberta", it looked like a romp early on when the Flames took a 2-0 lead courtesy of two power-plays in the first 12 minutes of the game. It took a huge hit on Dustin Boyd and a fight with Brandon Prust, courtesy of Steve MacIntyre, to give the Oilers a shot in the arm. Edmonton woke up in the second period and scored three times in four minutes off goals from Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, and a beauty by Andrew Cogliano.
UPCOMING GAME OF INTEREST
Monday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. ET
Dallas Stars at New York Rangers
Sean Avery brings his act back to the Big Apple. I think the fans will give him a nice ovation, but that won't last long the first time he starts aggivating Henrik Lundqvist in the crease.
GRATUITOUS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS RELATED AWESOMENESS
Top 10 Mike Lange calls